Big Ten Media Days 2013: Day 1 Interview Highlights, Quotes and Takeaways

Randy ChambersAnalyst IJuly 24, 2013

Big Ten Media Days are usually a snooze-fest, but don't expect to fall asleep today. The first day of the event will be action packed with all 12 coaches, Big Ten president Mark Silverman, Tournament of Roses president Scott Jenkins and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany all taking the podium.

The list will also include two first-year Big Ten coaches in Wisconsin's Gary Andersen and Purdue's Darrell Hazell.

Topics such as recruiting, off-the-field incidents, NCAA rule changes and overall competition of the conference will be discussed.

The first day of Big Ten Media Days should be mighty interesting. 

Big Ten Preseason Watch List

The Big Ten preseason watch list includes 10 players from either the Legends or Leaders Division. Ohio State and Michigan dominated the list, which was provided by the Big Ten on Twitter:

Did the media miss anybody?

Step It Up, Purdue!

There's no doubt that Purdue has seen better days, but the program should be excited with a new coaching staff in place. Judging by the media guide that Adam Kramer of Bleacher Report tweeted, that isn't the case.

It is 2013, right? Purdue, you must do better.

Darrell Hazell Highlights

Before becoming a head coach, Hazell was an assistant coach for Ohio State under former head coach Jim Tressel. According to journalist Kevin McGuire, Hazell picked up a lot of similar traits from the six-time Big Ten conference winner:

Still not sure if that is good or bad.

Brady Hoke Highlights

Michigan is switching to a pro-style offense but will also keep a few variations of the spread to take advantage of quarterback Devin Gardner's running ability. Coach Hoke said that the plan all along was for Gardner to return to quarterback and that the multiple-look offense will also help the defense, per Michael Rothstein of and McGuire:

Also, if you are a Michigan fan who is wondering how Hoke feels about this year's team, Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports has you covered:

Antonio Poole Questionable?

According to Kyle Meinke of MLive, the Michigan linebacker isn't on the playing roster due to medical reasons:

While the severity isn't known just yet, Poole was a talented recruit of the 2011 class and should have an impact on the Michigan defense this season. Unfortunately, he has already redshirted the last two seasons. Hopefully everything checks out with the season approaching.

Media Day History

While most media days are held in a simple room, the Big Ten media will be sitting inside history, per Brett McMurphy of ESPN:

Well, that adds at least a little excitement to the big day.

Pat Fitzgerald Highlights

Most coaches beat around the bush when discussing discipline. They’re afraid to hit the topic on the head and admit certain things. This isn’t the case with Fitzgerald, per Matt Hayes of the Sporting News:

Bingo. While athletic talent plays a huge role in recruiting players, how a player acts off the field should also hold weight.

Fitzgerald also admitted that the culture of Northwestern has changed, along with the expectations, per Hayes:

Northwestern has reached five straight bowl games, so the obvious next step would be to compete for a conference title.

Gary Andersen Highlights

After Wisconsin finished last season ranked 108th in the country in passing yards, Andersen isn't so quick to name a starting quarterback. In fact, he may experiment a little during the first week of the season, per Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal:

Whatever it takes, coach.

Andersen also mentioned that Wisconsin plans to recruit nationally, per Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press:

Wisconsin has 11 commitments in the 2014 recruiting class, five of which come from a different state.

Kevin Wilson Highlights

Indiana's head coach spent his opening statements giving a little credit to his special teams squad, per Dan Wolken of USA Today:

You have to love the Big Ten.

Wilson was also brutally honest about his team's performance, per Matt Charboneau of the Detroit News:

Indiana has an interesting, funny head coach. Hopefully he can last through the upcoming season to make another appearance at Big Ten Media Days.

Bo Pelini Highlights

The Nebraska head coach gave a reason for linebacker and redshirt freshman Thomas Brown's dismissal from the program. Well, not really, per Jeremy Fowler of CBS Sports:

Pelini also doesn't agree with the new "targeting" rule, per Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports:

Good news is that Nebraska doesn't really have to worry about the new rule, as the defense wasn't a strength last season.

Urban Meyer Highlights

Meyer is once again in the spotlight due to his players getting in trouble off the field. He had a lengthy history at Florida, and the trend continues at Ohio State with running back Carlos Hyde and cornerback Bradley Roby getting arrested this week, according to the AP.

The Ohio State coach obviously had to address these issues during his press conference, and he certainly let loose:

Hyde was accused of assault, but sources told Yahoo! Sports that video of the incident doesn't show the running back striking the alleged victim. Meyer mentioned that he had not received the news, per Brett McMurphy of ESPN:

Meyer also addressed the report of Ohio State turning in a Florida assistant for a recruiting violation. He still sticks to his story of not knowing anything about it until after the fact, per Dan Wolken of USA Today:

Former Gator tight end Aaron Hernandez was also mentioned during Meyer's meeting with the media. Hernandez, who was a player under Meyer from 2007-09, has been arrested in connection to the murder of Odin Lloyd.

There are also reports that Hernandez was trouble when at Florida, but Meyer handled those allegations gently:

Jerry Kill Is in Great Shape

The Minnesota head coach has had his fair share of close calls, as he suffers from epilepsy. Last season, he suffered a seizure during halftime of the Michigan State game.

It turns out that Kill is doing well, per Chris Vannini of Coaching Search:

 Bill O'Brien Highlights

The funniest tweet of the day goes to Ben Jones of State College:

In more serous news, O'Brien spent most of his 15 minutes actually discussing football. Shocking, right? One of the key topics he touched on was the quarterback situation. According to Tom Dienhart of Big Ten Network, O'Brien hopes to make a decision rather rapidly:

For more on the Penn State quarterback battle, click here.

Mark Silverman Highlights

Silverman dug into his “brag bag” and began to discuss the accomplishments of the Big Ten Network and how the conference has grown over the last year, per Scott Dochterman of The Gazette:

He also announced good news for Comcast users and hopes that it is just another step toward accomplishing the ultimate goal:

 Certainly, the SEC will have something to say about that.

Jim Delany Highlights

Are you one who is still hesitant on accepting Maryland and Rutgers as new members? Well, Delany has provided interesting numbers that could warm you up to the two teams that will officially join in 2014, per David Woods of the Indy Star:

Delany also threw out an idea that should be considered:

He would like athletes to have the opportunity to always graduate, whether they left school for the professional level or took time off for various reasons. Is the NCAA listening?

Those comments were made during the opening statement, a statement that took forever to come to an end.

 Delany also believes that there is a way for players to be paid.

This is true, now the tricky part is actually getting it done and finding a safe way to do so.

Check back later, this article will be updated with highlights throughout Day 1 of Big Ten Media Days.


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